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Ophthalmology. 2011 Sep;118(9):1834-43. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2011.02.012. Epub 2011 Jul 2.

Comparative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the implantable miniature telescope.

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Center for Value-Based Medicine, Flourtown, Pennsylvania 19031, USA.



To assess the preference-based comparative effectiveness (human value gain) and the cost-utility (cost-effectiveness) of a telescope prosthesis (implantable miniature telescope) for the treatment of end-stage, age-related macular degeneration (AMD).


A value-based medicine, second-eye model, cost-utility analysis was performed to quantify the comparative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of therapy with the telescope prosthesis.


Published, evidence-based data from the IMT002 Study Group clinical trial. Ophthalmic utilities were obtained from a validated cohort of >1000 patients with ocular diseases.


Comparative effectiveness data were converted from visual acuity to utility (value-based) format. The incremental costs (Medicare) of therapy versus no therapy were integrated with the value gain conferred by the telescope prosthesis to assess its average cost-utility. The incremental value gains and incremental costs of therapy referent to (1) a fellow eye cohort and (2) a fellow eye cohort of those who underwent intra-study cataract surgery were integrated in incremental cost-utility analyses. All value outcomes and costs were discounted at a 3% annual rate, as per the Panel on Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine.


Comparative effectiveness was quantified using the (1) quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gain and (2) percent human value gain (improvement in quality of life). The QALY gain was integrated with incremental costs into the cost-utility ratio ($/QALY, or US dollars expended per QALY gained).


The mean, discounted QALY gain associated with use of the telescope prosthesis over 12 years was 0.7577. When the QALY loss of 0.0004 attributable to the adverse events was factored into the model, the final QALY gain was 0.7573. This resulted in a 12.5% quality of life gain for the average patient during the 12 years of the model. The average cost-utility versus no therapy for use of the telescope prosthesis was $14389/QALY. The incremental cost-utility referent to control fellow eyes was $14063/QALY, whereas the incremental cost-utility referent to fellow eyes that underwent intra-study cataract surgery was $11805/QALY.


Therapy with the telescope prosthesis considerably improves quality of life and at the same time is cost-effective by conventional standards.

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